Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Abbas -- Abu Mazen -- has no power to commit anyone to anything --- that is, no power to commit anyone on the Arab side. But Bush and Rice have set things up, in this ill-thought out attempt to come up with something, anything, that might be considered a "diplomatic victory in the Middle East" (given the obvious failure to deal adequately with the world-wide Jihad, and the obvious squandering of men, money, matériel, morale and attention in Tarbaby Iraq) so that Abbas' mere appearance at this Annapolis farce, happily of short duration, will commit Israel, commit Israel yet again, publicly, in the form of the speeches and public commitments made by hopelessly maladroit, terminally weak, and quite possibly corrupt prime minister, to the very idea not only of the "Palestinian people" (an idea that has to be undone, not further ratified for the nth time, by some idiotic Israeli unaware of how that clever construct prevents the recognition of the Lesser Jihad against Israel) but of the idea of a "solution" to that Lesser Jihad. And still worse, that this claimed "solution" is what Rice repeatedly calls (echoes of Indyk, the self-assured platitudinous dead-wrong "everyone-agrees-that-there-are-four-core-issues" Aaron Miller, along with every hass and ross and tinpot shuttle-diplomat whose entire career has been spent engaged in some phony "peace process" that continues to ignore The Real Core Issue: Islam, and the refusal, by Muslims, properly following the texts and tenets of Islam, to countenance the permanent existence of an Infidel state, whatever its size, on land once ruled by Muslims, land and, what's more, on land that is smack in the middle of Dar al-Islam.
There is NO "solution" none, to the Arab Muslim opposition to Israel's existence. Any further surrenders by the Israelis will only whet, not sate, Arab and Muslim appetites. The Western world, and that includes Rice and Bush and so on, attributes a desire to compromise on the part of the Muslim Arabs, a genuine ability to accept, and accept forever, the existence of Israel. No, it is not possible. Even if a handful of unrepresentative plausible Muslims, and I do not mean the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, who differ from the Fast Jihadists of Hamas only in matters of timing and tactics, not in ultimate goals, were actually to say they could countenance an Israel reduced in size and power, why should Israel entrust its fate to what they think, or think they think? Do they speak, can they speak, for the primitive Muslim masses, any more than Ahmad Chalabi could speak for the "Iraqi people"? Policy has to be made on a basis other than that of this or that plausible smiler, saying exactly what he thinks, at a minimum, must be said to please his powerful Infidel hosts or interlocutors. But those who have studied Islam, studied the behavior, over many decades, of the Arabs, know perfectly well -- unless those students are apologists for Islam, collaborators with Muslims, out of conviction or cupidity (or sometimes both), or possibly are antisemites (or sometimes both), know perfectly well that the Arabs have no intention of recognizing Israel. Ask the defectors from that world. Ask Wafa Sultan. Ask Nonie Darwish. Ask Walid Shoebat. They know.
No there is not a "solution." There is one way to prevent open warfare. It is to create, and maintain, a situation in which Israel is not only vastly more powerful militarily, but is widely understood in the Arab and Muslim world to be so, which allows Arab leaders the excuse of not going to war based on their invocation of the concept of Darura, or Necessity. That, and that alone, can justify, in the minds of the Muslim masses, a failure to take military action against Israel. Moral arguments are not relevant.
And so the Lesser Jihad must be held in check, and it can be held in check, but only if egregious meddlers from outside, eager to score points -- and the Arab war on Israel, blandly miscalled the "Palestinian-Israel" conflict has become a Theme Park, where failed politicians such as Blair, or failing Administrations, such as that of Bush, in its last throes, decides to win some temporary fame and respite from criticism through doing the only thing it apparently knows how to do: Work On The Peace Process Between Israel And The "Palestinians." Come one, come all -- let's all go to the Middle East, or shuttle back on forth, or invite everyone here to Annapolis, to "jump-start" the "peace process" yet again, and "get things back on track" and deal with those "four core issues that Aaron Miller and everyone else in the know just knows, because you see otherwise they wouldn't be in the know, would they? Those are the only Core Issues that exist, even when those "core issues" are in fact mere epiphenomena, on the vast substratum that is Islam, Islam, Islam.
There is no need to "make peace" between Israel and its mortal enemies. The peace is kept, now, by the strength of the IDF, and the control Israel still has over invasion routes, over aquifers, and over a tiny bit of strategic depth -- scarcely visible, and nothing like what the Sinai was, but still something -- in the heights of Judea. There is "peace." It will last not because of treaties with Arab Muslims, but despite treaties, and only if no more of those idiotic surrender-"truce" treaties are signed, or even discussed.
The Lesser Jihad against Israel cannot be solved, any more than the Greater Jihad against the larger Infidel world can be solved. It can be contained, it can be managed, it can be reduced to much more manageable proportions. That is a different thing. The entire Infidel world, similarly, must come to realize it need not either appease Muslims within or without Infidel nation-states, but also need not invade them -- they need only inform themselves as to the nature and menace of Islam, and to work against not only terrorism, but against all the less obviously alarming, but far more effective instruments of Jihad, which include the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa, and what appears to be inexorable demographic conquest within the Bilad al-kufr, the Lands of the Infidels, especially in Western Europe.
The Arab Muslims will commit to nothing. And even if they were to commit, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has no power to get anyone to follow him. And even if he did have the power to convince even a few on the "West Bank" (known as Judea and Samaria to Jesus, and to every inhabitant of the Western world up to 1949, when Jordan renamed it) to follow him, in pretending to briefly adhere to whatever he pretended to commit the "Palestinian" Authority or nascent "Palestinian" state to, it could and would be breached at the first opportunity. It would not be done, possibly, with the same openness as Arafat, who just a few weeks after the signing of the Oslo Accords was telling an audience of Muslims in South Africa that he would do as Muhammad did with the Meccans in that "treaty" of Hudaibiyya. No, the current-account flaunters of that meek-mild-quiet-accountant aspect, those "technocrats" who, of course, are the perfect outward facade of the continuing and of course endless siege of Israel, whatever its size, have other ways to slowly undo whatever trivial commitments they may make.
It is Israel that always and everywhere has scrupulously, meticulously, fulfilled its commitments. It is Israel that is always being asked to give up, and does give, tangible assets -- land, oilfields, airbases, potentially the control of aquifers, historic sites, and so on -- and also gives up, allows to be forgotten or whittled away or attacked endlessly without any response, the legal, historic, and moral rights of the Jews to the Land of Israel -- rights that begin, but do not end, with the precise terms, and the exact intention, of the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine, and further supported by the rights of a country that has won territory in a defensive war. Not to mention, of course, the in-gathering of Jews from all over the Middle East, where they had lived in various states of wretchedness, under Muslim rule, as dhimmis, ranging from the horrors of slavery in Yemen, to conditions made better by the existence of large non-Muslim communities and the pressure and presence of a European power, as in North Africa under the French, or in Iraq, even for a while after the British left, and in Egypt under the ancien regime, the regime of Farouk, and La Gazette de Caire, and the syces outside Shepheard's Hotel, and the Alliance Israelite, and the Yacoubian Building, of late-blooming cinematic fame.
Posted on 11/27/2007 3:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Reuters (with thanks to Tex Whitson): NEW YORK/DUBAI - Citigroup Inc. is selling up to 4.9 percent of itself for $7.5 billion to the Gulf Arab emirate of Abu Dhabi, giving the largest U.S. bank fresh capital as it wrestles with the subprime mortgage crisis and the resignation of its chief executive.
The capital injection will shore up Citi's balance sheet, which has been hurt by some $6.8 billion of writedowns and losses in the third quarter, and the potential for another $11 billion in the fourth quarter.
Citi is paying a high price for the capital injection by selling mandatory convertible securities to Abu Dhabi which pay a fixed coupon of 11 percent. That is above the average yield on U.S. junk bonds, which is 9.4 percent according to Merrill Lynch data...
Family-ruled Abu Dhabi -- whose citizens number no more than 400,000 -- will be Citi's largest shareholder. The investment reflects the increasing financial might of oil-producing countries, which have benefited from a five-fold increase in the price of crude oil during the last six years.
Gulf investors have announced more than $70 billion of foreign acquisitions this year, more than in the previous two years combined.
Dubai International Capital, a private equity firm owned by the ruler of Dubai, said on Monday it made a "substantial investment" in Sony Corp, while a separate Abu Dhabi entity earlier this month bought a $622 million stake in U.S.-based chip maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc...
Abu Dhabi displaces Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as Citi's largest shareholder...
Posted on 11/27/2007 3:49 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
BELGIUM'S third largest city Ghent has banned its employees from wearing Muslim headscarves and other religious or political symbols.
All city personnel, such as librarians and child care workers, will not be allowed to wear such garments or symbols if they come into contact with the public, a city spokesman said.
Similar measures have been imposed in other European countries like France, where there are growing numbers of Muslim immigrants.
The measures are controversial. Supporters say they help Muslim immigrant women better integrate in their host countries, while opponents say they are discriminatory.
The council voted 26 to 23 yesterday for the ban, with the Liberals, Christian Democrats and far-right Vlaams Belang in favour and the socialists and Greens against.
Posted on 11/27/2007 3:27 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Perhaps it's a little unfair that the late Norman Mailer is featured in Pseudsday Tuesday two weeks running. But Mailer was such a self-effacing sort of chap that any publicity - even posthumous - is good publicity. This, after all, is a man so humble as to hint that he might not be divine. So he has pipped Jesus to the post in the humility race, pace Golda Meir.
Knowing what a shrinking violet he was, I would not have drawn attention to him, but in all fairness I must. Mailer has had greatness thrust upon him: he has won an award. From the BBC:
Late author Norman Mailer has been announced as the winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for the most awkward description of an intimate encounter.
The US writer, who died earlier this year at the age of 84, won for his novel The Castle in the Forest.
Four hundred guests toasted Mailer's memory at a ceremony in London.
The occasion was also used to pay homage to the renowned American literary figure and the rich variety of his work.
"We are sure he would have taken the prize in good humour," said the judges.
Of course he would. Didn't he used to write for Punch? What was that? He used to write and punch? Sorry, my mistake. All things considered, then, this is a good time to give him the award. Even a month ago might have been a little unwise.
I have mentioned the Bad Sex in Fiction Award before. Let's recap:
Examples include Christopher Hart’s Rescue Me, from which the winning passage is:
Her hand is moving away from my knee and heading north. Heading unnervingly and with a steely will towards the pole ... Ever northward moves her hand, while she smiles languorously at my right ear. And when she reaches the north pole, I think in wonder and terror -- she will surely want to pitch her tent.
She may be gone for some time. For me it’s the specifying of the “right ear” that clinches it. And there’s this from Sean Thomas’ Kissing England:
It is time, time ... Now. Yes. She is so small and compact and yet she has all the necessary features ... Shall I compare thee to a Sony Walkman. She is his own Toshiba, his dinky little JVC, his sweet Aiwa ... Aiwa...
A hard act to follow. So how does Mailer compare? From The Castle in the Forest:
His mouth lathered with her sap, he turned around and embraced her face with all the passion of his own lips and face, ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety.
Yes, it's a winner.
Posted on 11/27/2007 2:44 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
It doesn't matter if Israel agrees to nothing. Even in that, the best possible outcome, it will have tacitly agreed to a great many things. It will have agreed, for the ten-thousandth time, that the local Arabs in and out of Israel who are the shock troops of the war against Israel, their numbers in deliberately-maintained "refugee" camps swelled by other local Arabs eager to get on the generous, and seemingly permanent, UNRWWA dole, do indeed constitute a separate, distinct (in what way? religion, language, culture, what?) "Palestinian" people, that these people were numerous (the total population of "Palestine" in 1850 did not exceed 150,000), that they were there for centuries (Arabs swarmed into Mandatory Palestine, illegally, from Iraq and Egypt and other places, eager to enjoy the fruits of the economic activity and possibilities brought about by the Zionists who had started to retake the country from the state of ruin and desolation that all Western travellers spontaneously noted), and so on.
Merely by appearing, that awful man, that ignorant man, that dull-witted man, that consequently dangerous man, Ehud Olmert has, and not for the first time, done damage to Israel's case, as he parrots the language of the Muslim Arab enemy, a language now being parroted, incidentally, by everyone in the Western world, including Bush and Rice, for everyone is worn out, or has been worn down, by the relentless stillicide of Arab propaganda.
Posted on 11/27/2007 2:08 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
So how did we do on the World-feeding Wordometer? Did we rice to the occasion?
I got to fifty, and nobody else in my office did - give me a bonus, give me a bonus - but I guessed a few - a bit like on Call My Bluff:
Call My Bluff is a long-running British game show (adapted for BBC television by Philip Hindin from a short-lived US Goodson-Todman show of the same title) between two teams of three contestants, who are celebrities. The point of the game is for the teams to take it in turn to provide three definitions of an obscure word, only one of which is correct. The other team then has to guess which is the correct definition, the other two being "bluffs". It was brought back to BBC TV by producer Richard Lewis
Examples of words used in Call my Bluff (taken from a book published in connection with the show in 1972) are Queach, Strongle, Ablewhacket, Hickboo, Jargoon, Zurf, Morepork and Jirble. Queach, for instance, was defined as 'a malicious caricature,' or 'a cross between a quince and a peach,' or 'a mini-jungle of mixed vegetation.' The first and second of those particular definitions are bluffs.
The food/word-programme goes up to a higher level if you get three right in a row and down to an easier level if you get one wrong.
For our next quiz - write a short story containing all the words you've just been tested on. Meanwhile I'm off to raise money by selling a few puns. Or I may just porn them.
Posted on 11/27/2007 2:05 PM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Go to this site:
- Click on the answer that best defines the word.
- If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
- For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.
It's rather addictive.
Posted on 11/27/2007 11:06 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Posted on 11/27/2007 9:45 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
“None of you has faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself,” the Prophet Muhammad said...
The Prophet Muhammad did similarly when he was violently rejected and stoned by the people of Ta’if. He is known to have said, “The most virtuous behaviour is to engage those who sever relations, to give to those who withhold from you, and to forgive those who wrong you.” --two quotes from Muhammad given in this letter from Christian leaders to the Muslim world
It is interesting that every quote from Jesus employed in this letter includes chapter and verse, which makes me think that these two quotes are not in the Koran, but are possibly from hadiths not in either the Bukari or Muslim collections, or were ranked low on the sale of authenticity in those collections and therefore not reliable hadiths, otherwise they would be cited.
Secondly, they are both clearly derived from the words of Jesus, either misremembered or misunderstood.
Thirdly, there is nothing in the purported words of Muhammad that advanced morality from where Jesus left it. Whereas, Jesus' words undoubtedly advanced morality though employing the best of Judaism and expanding upon it. Muhammad did not expand upon Christianity. Rather the best to be found in Islam is but the shadow of the words of Jesus and the words of the Torah.
If Islam did not add to religious understanding of reality or advance morality in any meaningful way, how can religious leaders continue to treat Islam as a true religion on equal terms with Judaism and Christianity?
Posted on 11/27/2007 8:19 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Here are the last few paragraphs of Ed Husain's attempt to equate "Zionism" and "Islamism":
"Just as Israel is an expansionist state which remains in occupation of the Golan Heights, Islamists plan for a state that would have an occupying army to support ever-expanding borders (see Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution). Just as Zionists claim territory based on notions of "Jewish land" and God-given rights, Islamists wish to reconquer India and Spain as "Muslim land", once ruled by Muslim monarchs.
Zionists have achieved their state; Islamists are busy trying out every conceivable option to bring their dream Zion to fruition. For centuries, Jewish people said "Next year in Jerusalem", and for decades for now, Islamists have been repeating "Caliphate by next Ramadan". I did this for three Ramadans before realising I had been sold a pup and so abandoned Islamism, and slowly rediscovered Islam. There is a world of difference between Islam and Islamism, as there is between Judaism and Zionism.
While millions across the world make the distinction between Zionism and Judaism, to date that distinction is not yet clear for most of us when it comes to Islam. Islamism is not Islam, regardless of the claims of "Muslim spokesmen". To condemn Israeli excesses is not anti-semitic; and to criticise Islamism is not to be Islamophobic.
Among my closest friends, I count American Jews. As a Muslim, I see Jews as cousins-in-faith, the descendants of Jacob. In The Islamist, I denounce suicide bombings and support a two-state solution to the question of Palestinian nationhood, as endorsed by Muslim scholars at al-Azhar in Egypt. So I don't come to this as an enemy of Israel.
My problem lies with marketing political ideologies as religion. Whether it is evangelical Christianity in the United States and their religious support for rightwing Republicans, or Zionism posing as Judaism, or Islamism masquerading as Islam - all three are equally guilty of misleading people, creating conflicts and corrupting three of the world's greatest religions."
Note that Zionists are depicted by Ed Husain as religious fanatics. But Herzl, Max Nordau, and other early Zionists, and those who came later, such as Chaim Weizmann and his associates, or the incomparable Jabotinsky, writer, feuilletonist, boulevardier, and orator (Nabokov, the uncle of the writer, who as the Russian Ambassador to Great Britain heard Jabotinsky speak, declared him to be the greatest orator he had ever heard) were all secular, worldly, thoroughly assimilated, and could have done nothing but continue in their successful careers without giving a thought to the tragic condition and situation of Jews in Eastern and Central Europe.
Those whom Ed Husain absurdly calls "Islamists," failing to realize that their goals are nothing but standard Islamic doctrine, even if their currently chosen means are, it seems, exclusively violent (which is strange, given that there are so many other instruments of Jihad - the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da'wa in the Bilad al-kufr, and of course slow and inexorable demographic conquest of those Lands of the Infidels). The "Islamists" do not read a different Qur'an, or consult a different set of "authentic" Hadith, or have a different version of Muhammad's life, from the Qur'an and Hadith and Sira consulted by those "moderate" Muslims whom Ed Husain allows himself to believe, or better, pretends to allow himself to believe, exist. He is alarmed about Muslim violence, one suspects, because he is alarmed about the position of Muslims in the West, and their continued ability to remain in that West, and to flourish -- as he so obviously does. His very slight disaffection, at the edges of Islam, should not relieve or satisfy anyone, for it is prompted neither by a keen recognition and keen analysis of the nature, and permanent menace, of Islam, and its persistent hold over the minds of men (Islam is primitive, but most men, in most times and places, are very primitive). He is no Wafa Sultan, or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Ibn Warraq. He represents a snare and a delusion.
He might only ask himself this: Suppose the "Zionists" as he calls them, were to hold on to every inch of land they now possess? After all, the Jews have a considerable historic, legal, and moral claim to that territory. It comes from the exact terms of the Palestine Mandate itself, which was set up for one purpose: to encourage Jewish immigration into Mandatory Palestine, and to facilitate "close Jewish settlement" on the land. The claim is further buttressed by the relentless siege by the Arab Muslims (supported by other Muslims), of the Zionist settlers, and then of the Jewish state, a siege that is prompted by Islam and that constitutes what can be called a Lesser Jihad. That some local Arabs who are islamochristians provided, for a time, a useful facade for what was always a Muslim campaign, a campaign which Ed Husain knows very well is not going to end no matter what further surrenders of territory and of rights the Jews of Israel make, for those Arab Muslim gains will merely be pocketed, and then the complaining and the pressure -- diplomatic, economic, and whenever possible military -- will continue, will continue to the end of time. For it is absolutely intolerable that an Infidel nation-state, and still more humiliating one controlled by the long-despised Jews, should exist on land once part of Dar al-Islam.
And when Ed Husain writes of the desire of "Islamists" to recapture other lands -- Spain (Al-Andaluz) and Siciliy, for example -- that were once under Muslim rule, he does two things, both of them bad. First, he implies that the desire of Muslims to re-possess lands once in Muslim possession is limited to those he calls adherents of "Islamism." Not at all. This is standard, mainstream Islam, and Ed Husain surely knows it. And then he further implies that the desire of Muslims (or, in his misleading presentation, "Islamists") is limited to the recapture of territories once under Dar al-Islam. This does, admittedly, cover a lot of territory. It includes Israel, and Spain, and Sicily, and a few other Mediterranean islands. It includes Greece, and all of the Balkans, and Rumania and Bulgaria and much of Hungary. It includes an enormous swathe of Russia. It includes most of India, and part of western China. But that is not all it includes. For Islam inculcates not only the idea that once under Islam, forever to be, or to revert to the condition of being, under Islam, but that the whole world must ultimately come under the sway of Islam. And by telling us only about the places that were once part of Dar al-Islam, and even then carefully limiting how many such places he lists, Ed Husain causes unwary Infidels to breathe a sigh of relief. "Whew, at least thank god I live not in Spain or Sicily or Israel, but in Paris or London or New York. For a minute I was worried there."
I suspect that Ed Husain is on to a good thing, a gravy-train, as a professional "moderate" who offers "hope." It is a false hope, and a dangerous hope. Tthose who are subsidizing him, possibly believing on the old theory that "he's the best till the best comes round" should stop. There are those who tell the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth, about Islam. Thjey are both ex-Muslims, and non-Muslims. Support them.
You can start, by the way, with this website. It needs all the help it can get.
Posted on 11/27/2007 7:50 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
ABCNews: President Bush on Monday signed a deal setting the foundation for a potential long-term U.S. troop presence in Iraq, with details to be negotiated over matters that have defined the war debate at home how many U.S. forces will stay in the country, and for how long.
The agreement between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirms that the United States and Iraq will hash out an "enduring" relationship in military, economic and political terms. Details of that relationship will be negotiated in 2008, with a completion goal of July, when the U.S. intends to finish withdrawing the five combat brigades sent in 2007 as part of the troop buildup that has helped curb sectarian violence.
"What U.S. troops are doing, how many troops are required to do that, are bases required, which partners will join them all these things are on the negotiating table," said Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, President Bush's adviser on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The proposal underlines how the United States and Iraq are exploring what their relationship might look like once the U.S. significantly draws down its troop presence. It comes as a Democratic Congress unsuccessfully, so far prods Bush to withdraw troops faster than he wants...
Two Republican senators said that unless Baghdad makes more political progress by January, the U.S. should consider withdrawing financial aid or political support from al-Maliki.
The warnings, coming from Sens. Lindsey Graham and Saxby Chambliss, were an indication that while GOP patience on the war has increased this fall because of security gains made by the military, it isn't bottomless...
Posted on 11/27/2007 7:12 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
..."Everyone looks at me as if I'm wrong. I couldn't even continue my studies. I wanted to die. I tried to commit suicide twice," she said of her experience just after the attack.
The woman, known anonymously in the Saudi press as "Qatif Girl" for the eastern province town where the crime took place, was originally sentenced to 90 lashes for being in a state of "khalwa" -- retreat with a male who's not a relative.
But the General Court of Qatif increased the punishment to 200 lashes and six months in jail after she took her case to the press. Authorities deemed it an "attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media," according to Saudi Arabia's English-language newspaper Arab News...
"I [was] 19 years old. I had a relationship with someone on the phone. We were both 16. I had never seen him before. I just knew his voice. He started to threaten me, and I got afraid. He threatened to tell my family about the relationship. Because of the threats and fear, I agreed to give him a photo of myself," she recounted.
"A few months [later], I asked him for the photo back but he refused. I had gotten married to another man. He said, 'I'll give you the photo on the condition that you come out with me in my car.' I told him we could meet at a souk [market[ near my neighborhood city plaza in Qatif.
"He started to drive me home. …We were 15 minutes from my house. I told him that I was afraid and that he should speed up. We were about to turn the corner to my house when they [another car] stopped right in front of our car. Two people got out of their car and stood on either side of our car. They man on my side had a knife. They tried to open our door. I told the individual with me not to open the door, but he did. He let them come in. I screamed.
"One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn't see anything since my head was forced down."
"They took us to an area … with lots of palm trees. No one was there. If you kill someone there, no one would know about it. They took out the man with me, and I stayed in the car. I was so afraid. They forced me out of the car. They pushed me really hard ... took me to a dark place. Then two men came in. They said, 'What are you going to do? Take off your abaya.' They forced my clothes off. The first man with the knife raped me. I was destroyed. If I tried to escape, I don't even know where I would go. I tried to force them off but I couldn't. [Another] man … came in and did the same thing to me. I didn't even feel anything after that.
"I spent two hours begging them to take me home. I told them that it was late and that my family would be asking about me. Then I saw a third man come into the room. There was a lot of violence. After the third man came in, a fourth came. He slapped me and tried to choke me.
"The fifth and sixth ones were the most abusive. After the seventh one, I couldn't feel my body anymore. I didn't know what to do. Then a very fat man came on top of me and I could no longer breathe.
"Then all seven came back and raped me again. Then they took me home. … When I got out of the car, I couldn't even walk. I rang the doorbell and my mother opened the door. She said you look tired.' I didn't eat for one week after that, just water. I didn't tell anyone. I went to the hospital the next day.
"The criminals started talking about it [the rape] in my neighborhood. They thought my husband would divorce me. They wanted to ruin my reputation. Slowly my husband started to know what had happened. Four months later, we started a case. My family heard about the case. My brother hit me and tried to kill me."
Along with the young woman's sentence, the General Court of Qatif confiscated the license of her attorney, Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, a lawyer known for taking on controversial cases that push back against Saudi Arabia's strictly interpreted system of sharia, or Islamic law...
Posted on 11/27/2007 6:44 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
The BBC doesn't do interludes anymore, as there is 24 hour continuous television. Click here for some BBC railway interlude nostalgia:
Posted on 11/27/2007 5:59 AM by Mary Jackson
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
Another night of violence in the suburbs of Paris. From The Times
Hundreds of youths fought pitched battles with police for a second night running as volatile housing estates north of Paris erupted into violence after the deaths of two teenagers.
38 officers were wounded, three seriously, when gangs threw stones, firecrackers and petrol bombs at riot police, who responded with teargas and stun guns. Protesters blame police for fleeing the scene of a crash on Sunday between a patrol car and a motorbike in which Moushin, 15, and Larami, 16, children of African immigrants, whose surnames cannot be revealed, were killed.
In what observers described as a battle for control of a roundabout in the centre of Villiers-le-Bel, a town with many poor housing estates, at least 36 cars were last night set on fire. Confronted by up to 100 youths, mostly hooded, police were forced to retreat. A pre-school, a driving school and a beauty salon were also torched, according to witnesses.
In a nearby suburb around a dozen people forced a bus driver out of his vehicle before beating him and setting fire to the bus, police said.
Posted on 11/27/2007 1:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 26 November 2007
Posted on 11/26/2007 6:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 26 November 2007
A group of protesters have forced their way into the Oxford Union and barricaded themselves inside the debating chamber.
Around 20 people are thought to have managed to get into the building in St Michael's Street and are staging a sit-in protest.
A thousand anti-fascist protesters roared their opposition outside the Union - including Respect MP George Galloway. (As a relative of his ex wife was Al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem who toured Auschwitz and was promised his very own extermination camp once the Nazis had taken the Middle east he has reason to know that the holacaust really happened)
The two controversial speakers had arrived early, accompanied by bodyguards, in a bid to avoid confrontation with the protesters.
As he arrived, Mr Irving, who had been invited seven times before and each time the invitation had been withdrawn, said: "I'm very glad to be here."
I cannot work out whether the debate has been abandoned, is carrying on in the midst of protestors or is waiting for the protestors to be dealt with (although at nearly 11 pm it is a little late now)
According to the BBC the debate started late with the speakers split into two rooms. I rather wanted to know what Nick Griffin and David Irving would have to say to each other publicly.
Posted on 11/26/2007 4:32 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Monday, 26 November 2007
Ordinarily the sex life of politicians, like the sex life of newts, ought not to be a matter of public knowledge or interest...And the business of lesbianism need not be brought into the discussion at all. That is not the main thing. That this "deeply conservative" Muslim is her constant companion and aide is enough for alarms to go off. That is more than enough. (Hugh)
It should be, but I imagine that the affair, rather than the Islam aspect, will be the focus of attention. A prominent male politician who has an affair will have the tabloids on his back. A woman even more so. And if it's a lesbian affair - well, they'll be all agog.
Perhaps because "Kind Hearts and Coronets" was showcased here recently, I was put in mind of Mr Valerie Hobson, AKA John Profumo. The Profumo affair, which I have posted about here and here, was not just a sex scandal; there was a genuine security risk at the time. (Christine Keeler was sleeping with Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché.) We may never know what really happened, but it looks very likely that Christine Keeler was used, and John Profumo set up, in a honeytrap.
Can this be ruled out? Keeler was young and foolish and knew nothing of politics. Huma Abedin may know little of the real Islam. But might she have been encouraged, pushed into a close relationship of some kind with Hillary Clinton? Clinton is an aspiring President, just as Profumo was an aspiring Prime Minister.
Or have I been reading too many books called "Honeytrap"?
Posted on 11/26/2007 2:03 PM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 26 November 2007
I have no objection, none, to Hillary Clinton's doing whatever she wants with anyone, as long as that anyone is not subtly conveying a message about Islam that causes her -- as it has caused so many before her -- to misunderstand or overlook the doctrine of Islam, what the texts say, what is always there, sometimes ignored or not quite followed, but nonetheless there in the immutable Words of Allah in the Qur'an, or in the immutable words and deeds of his Messenger, Muhammad, in the Hadith. It is much easier to take as representative of Islam this man, or that woman, especially if this particular man or woman is otherwise remarkably appealing, and that can be misleading, and a great danger.
1) that particular Muslim may not know herself know, or care to find out, about the full texts and tenets of Islam, but is ignorant, possibly willfully ignorant, of much about Islam that others, especially government officials in the West, need to find out about.
Especially if she left a Muslim society in her early teens, or the main upholder-of-Islam in the family, apparently her father, died when she was 17, and she may have been raised outside a Muslim society or not be aware of what it is like to grow up, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan and Azam Kamguian did, inside Dar al-Islam, and experienced what a society suffused with Islam is like, like for women, and like for men as well.
2) one must keep steadily in mind the lapidary formula of Ibn Warraq: "There are moderate Muslims. Islam itself is not moderate." We have already experienced, endured, suffered from, the naive and sentimental George Bush, who "knows" that Islam is a "religion" and also "knows" that "religion" is a Good Thing, and who further knows that everyone in the whole wide world wants the same things, wants "freedom" and "democracy" and stuff like that, because deep down inside, we are all Americans, aren't we?
How likely is it that someone who has not bothered over the past six years, as Hillary Clinton has not bothered, to study the texts of Islam, has never mentioned Islam, either its doctrine or its practice, over the past 1350 years -- in this respect she is discernibly no worse than the other candidates, save the steady sober Tom Tancredo -- but who spends time every day with a charming Muslimah for whom she feels esteem and affection, and who no doubt is a walking advertisement for Islam, a false advertisement, a dangerous advertisement, and one who possibly can only be countered by the no-nonsense truth-tellers from that same world, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan.
It would be fascinating to know if Hillary Clinton has read Hirsi Ali's "Infidel" or expressed a desire to meet with her. And if such a desire were to be expressed, would Huma Abedin try to prevent it from being met, or try to make sure that she would be present at such a meeting, or be able to undercut the ferocity and truth of what Ayaan Hirsi Ali would no doubt tell Hillary Clinton, and attempt to get her to see? And what about the other defectors from Islam - Wafa Sultan, for example? Could she, has she, been in to see Hillary Clinton, or for that matter any of the other Presidential candidates?
Memo to Barack Obama: have a meeting with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. To discuss the world. Make that meeting right now. Let voters compare and contrast your understanding of Islam, and where you are seeking to find out more about it, with that of your rivals in the Democratic Party.
Memo to Republican candidates: do the same.
Posted on 11/26/2007 12:57 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 26 November 2007
TERRORIST group Hezbollah is poised to launch bloody reprisals in Britain for any Western attack on Iran, a former intelligence chief has warned. --from this news article
And what will be the position of the American and British governments toward a continuing large-scale presence of Muslims in their respective countries, were there to be an attack by Muslims within those countries? War always deals with the "collective." When Bomber Harris conducted the campaign of raids on German cities, he did so to punish them, and to break their will, to damage the Nazi morale and capacity for war-making. When the Enola Gay flew over Hiroshima, it was in order to make an invasion of the Japanese Home Islands unnecessary, to save a million lives. But in both cases "innocent civilians" were wounded or killed. Had the United States ever bombed Soviet Russia, undoubtedly among the dead would have been those who did not support the Communist regime. When Benes and Masaryuk expelled the Sudeten Germans in 1946, because of the behavior of so many of them, in collaborating with Hitler in his aims, before the war and then during the war, it was understood that some of those expelled had not so collaborated, were in a sense "innocent." But that is what national security, the Czechs felt, given the behavior of too many Sudeten Germans, at that point demanded.
What's the moral here? The moral here is that the governments of Infidel states have a duty to preserve the physical security of their own people, and the continued stability, and even existence, of political and legal institutions that are flatly contradicted by the spirit and letter of Islam. And there seems to be as yet that we have not made clear that there will be consequences damaging to Islam and the Jihad should those who wish, and work to do us harm, in the name of Islam, as they work to support or protect from attack the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear project, or any other Muslim state (Pakistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, fill in whatever you wish right here) or polity (the "Palestinian" Authority) or group (Hamas or Hezbollah or Lashkar Jihad or a thousand other groups, including of course the various local succursales of the Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood).
What is the punishment, what will be the consequences, of such an attack? It should be: to end all Muslim immigration to the country attacked (and, proleptically, in other Infidel countries), and a relentless campaign to shut down efforts at Da'wa, to end support by rich Arabs abroad (mainly Saudi Arabia) to pay for mosques, madrasas, Da'wa, and armies of Western hirelings to deflect any criticism either of Islam or of such malevolent states as Saudi Arabia). Make sure that the consequences are fully understood. Treating the matter purely as one for the security services, who will merely locate those immediately responsible, if they can, for such attacks, is not nearly enough. Let it be clear that the threat, or potential future threat, will be diminished, in the same way, with the same permissible amplitude, that we have always permitted ourselves, correctly, in previous wars, those wars that were of a more traditional and therefore more easily understood, kind.
Posted on 11/26/2007 10:37 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 26 November 2007
Now Hillary will feel she cannot abandon her protégé, and instead is likely to become indignant, more determined to be seen, defiantly, with Huma Abedin on every occasion and to attack those who express the slightest, perfectly justified reservations about the perfectly plausible notion that Mrs. Clinton gets her idea of Islam, or of what Islam might be, necessarily skewed, from someone apparently full of personal charm and good looks (never to be discounted, often dangerously employed). One need only see how the personal charm of all those Shi'as in exile, Ahmad Chalabi, Kanan Makiya, Rend al-Rahim Francke, not to mention Paul Wolfowitz's close friend, who helped present a misleading view of Iraq, an Iraq which would be eternally grateful to its American liberators, an Iraq that within months of the toppling of the old regime would be back on its feet, still celebrated in Baghdad its liberation, with that celebration "making the liberation of Kabul look like a funeral procession" as Bernard Lewis is reported to have assured others in Washington.
Think of how the personal charm, those liquid brown eyes, of that nice Pakistani lady who shows up at the local elementary school to teach the students "about Islam," armed with a prayer rug, and pretty postcards of mosques, including of course the Mosque of Omar, and her beautiful exotic dress, and those wonderful exotic foods she brings, the chicken with pita, and the honeyed pastries, which the children are all so looking forward -- mmm...it all smells so good -- after her talk, about Ramadan, and Iftar dinners, and how little Muslim boys and girls obey their parents and pray and are deeply devout just like, exactly like, little Christian boys and girls, so what's there to worry about? What indeed?
And think of the office with the Muslim colleague who is so friendly, so nice, who always inquires after your wife or husband or children, who seems so much warmer than your fellow, non-Muslim, harried thoroughly Western workers. What a relief to have such a nice guy in the office. Just as long, of course, as you carefully stay off the subject of Islam, or allow him to do all the talking about it, and never once dare to inject a note of doubt or wariness or criticism, for suddenly quite a different aspect of that same colleague, once so warm, so trustworthy, may be seen, perhaps just a glimpse, as quite other, when the deepest matters are touched.
Of course one is perfectly justified in worrying about this kind of influence. For if the reports are to be believed, Huma Abedin remains, despite living in the West, a "deeply conservative" Muslim. We are entitled to assume, therefore, that she still regards the Qur'an as the uncreated and immutable Word of God. And we are entitled to consult that "Word of God" to find out what she believes, and that includes 9.5, and 9.29, and another hundred deeply disturbing and hate-filled verses. We are entitled to assume that she is familiar with the most "authentic" Hadith in the most authoritative collections. We are entitled to assume that she regards Muhammad as exemplary, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, and that therefore she finds all of his behavior not only beyond criticism, but to be taken as a model: little Aisha, and the murders of Asma bint Marwan and Abu Akaf, the decapitation of the 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, the attack on the inoffensive Jewish farmers of the Khaybar Oasis, and so on.
This close aide, this aide-de-camp, who may or may not be closer and more intimate with Hillary Clinton than anyone else on earth, really a deep admirer of that Muhammad, and a deep believer in the Qur'an, and therefore a supporter of the Shari'a, desirous naturally of removing all barriers to the spread of the faith of which she is not only an adherent by birth (born into it through no fault of her own), but apparently by deep conviction, and furthermore, the daughter of a Muslim preacher who went to Saudi Arabia, the place where the most rigorous and unmediated Islam is put into practice, and enforced at every level.
We have a right to know. And Huma Abedin, and her great and good friend, have a duty to tell us. With no counter-attacks, none of that manufactured indignation, none of that "I won't dignify such scurrilous rumors" or "leave her alone, it's her private life." In this case, she is running for President. In this case, she wishes to be in control of the American government when war is being made on that government, and its people, and on Infidels everywhere, by Muslims acting in the name of Islam, and not doing so because they are "extremists" but because they have chosen to use the instrument of warfare, or terror, rather than to use the instruments of Da'wa, and the Money Weapon, and demographic conquest, being employed by tens or hundreds of millions of other Muslims.
This has to be cleared up. What does this woman so close to Hillary Clinton believe? And what does Hillary Clinton now believe, or allow herself to believe because she wishes to, because it makes her able to justify, or reconcile, her personal life and her political life. Or does she think there is nothing to worry about, or that no one has a right to raise this issue.
She may assume - there have been many signs of it -- that she regards herself, or thinks others should so regard her, as existing serenely above all the normal considerations and influences that others, mere mortals, are subject to? Her o'erweening ambition, she may think, is her only fault, and to her it is not a fault.
Well, she's wrong. We need to know. What does Huma Abedin think about the doctrine and practice of Islam? What would Huma Abedin like to see happen in the Lands of the Infidels? And what has Hillary Clinton learned, or think she has learned, about Islam and Muslims, through her close friendship and daily proximity to Huma Abedin?
Ordinarily the sex life of politicians, like the sex life of newts, ought not to be a matter of public knowledge or interest. What Jacques Chirac did or does with his poules de luxe is not important, except that in his case the requirement of simultaneous ministrations from three girls implies a very large bill at the end, and where does Jacques Chirac get all that money, if not from such briefcases as that brought to him by the late u Rafik Hariri on his monthly trips for "private meetings" with Chirac, the contents of which were never clearly explained. So there was a reason for puzzlement and worry, as there is now.
And the business of lesbianism need not be brought into the discussion at all. That is not the main thing. That this "deeply conservative" Muslim is her constant companion and aide is enough for alarms to go off. That is more than enough.
Posted on 11/26/2007 10:22 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 26 November 2007
Robert Spencer has posted this story about Hillary Clinton's personal assistant who is a Muslim woman who grew up in Saudi Arabia and whose father was a cleric. Rumors are flying about a possible affair between this young woman and Mrs. Clinton.
The New York Observer has details in an April story which includes gushing comments about "Hillary’s secret weapon," Huma Abedin, from the likes of Oscar de la Renta, James Carville, Queen Noor of Jordan, and even Senator John McCain.
Posted on 11/26/2007 10:02 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 26 November 2007
Washington Times: Fort Huachuca, the nation's largest intelligence-training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.
Fort officials changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high-powered weapons to attack the Arizona Army base, according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Times.
"A portion of the operatives were in the United States, with the remainder not yet in the United States," according to one of the documents, an FBI advisory that was distributed to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, Customs and Border Protection and the Justice Department, among several other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. "The Afghanis and Iraqis shaved their beards so as not to appear to be Middle Easterners."
According to the FBI advisory, each Middle Easterner paid Mexican drug lords $20,000 "or the equivalent in weapons" for the cartel's assistance in smuggling them and their weapons through tunnels along the border into the U.S. The weapons would be sent through tunnels that supposedly ended in Arizona and New Mexico, but the Islamist terrorists would be smuggled through Laredo, Texas, and reclaim the weapons later.
A number of the Afghans and Iraqis are already in a safe house in Texas, the FBI advisory said...
Posted on 11/26/2007 9:53 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 26 November 2007
Jemima Khan spouts platitudes (h/t Alan):
In my experience, having lived for 10 years in a Muslim country and visited many others, there is a huge variety of beliefs within Islam and a cultural diversity amongst Muslims that is not often taken into account. Islam is not a monolithic entity ....
Zzzzzzzzzz. What was that?
Islam is not a monolithic entity. Which Islam, which Muslims do they hate? Mystical Sufi Islam? The culturally-influenced Islam of the Subcontinent? The literalist and extreme Wahabbi Islam? Militant jihadist Islam?
The Albanian Muslim is different from his Saudi brother. There are devout Muslims and less devout Muslims. Some drink, some don't. Some believe in arranged marriages, others have sex outside marriage. A minority believe that homosexuals and infidels should be murdered. A majority find such views repugnant.
It's true that the Muslim community is bad at introspection and self-criticism. Labelling all critics Islamophobes, as often happens (though Rod Liddle outed himself: "Islamophobia? Count me in") is an old ploy to close down debate. It was used 70 years ago, when a critic of the Soviet Union could expect to be called a fascist. A critic of Israeli government policy today is often labelled anti-Semitic.
Tedious false equivalence. Jemima Khan knows nothing about Islam or politics generally, and should stick to looking pretty in pictures. She doesn't even do that as well as Ayaan Hirsi Ali does.
A reader comments:
From here we see little enlightenment or democracy in the Muslim world, with increasing misogyny, xenophobia, intolerance, violence and chaos.
Does Ms Khan suggest that Islam itself has little to do with this sorry state of affairs, and therefore are we not right to attack, as Rod Liddle did, Islam itself?
Would she wish such a culture on Britain, even closed off in a few enclaves like Dewsbury and Tower Hamlets?
So never mind the diversity, and the often genuine kindness of many Muslim people, it is the power that the culture puts into the hands of demogogues that is the problem, so there is something in the head of even the most benign Muslim that represents a threat to our freedom - something that prevents them from facing down the hotheads. That makes even the moderates a problem, and until it changes, hostility can only increase.
Not that this matters, but isn't it about time she changed her name back to Jemima Goldsmith? Or perhaps she could adopt the surname of her mother, Lady Annabel Vane-Tempest-Stewart. Private Eye would have a field day conjuring with that one if they haven't already.
Posted on 11/26/2007 8:45 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 26 November 2007
As posted a few days ago, to support his contention that women - all women - should not vote, Lawrence Auster gives the example of a woman - one woman - who admitted to changing her mind on the basis of a "friendly note". You see, if one woman does something silly like this, it means that all women must agree with her and must be similarly unfit to vote. I pointed out that all the women who commented on Auster's site disagreed and thought the woman who changed her mind was idiotic. Are they, like Margaret Thatcher, whom even the most reactionary of men admire, simply rule-proving exceptions? How many rule-proving exceptions do you need before a rule becomes invalid? All right, then, Auster concedes, not all women. But most. How does he know this? He just knows. It just is, OK? You can almost hear his foot stamp.
I believe (1) that women are naturally oriented to deal with life more in terms of personal relationships than in terms of impersonal principles; (2) that women are therefore significantly more likely to base their political positions on emotional and personal factors than men are; (3) that the women's vote will therefore tend to result in a society's political life and decisions being guided more and more by the kinds of personal and emotional considerations that are appropriate to decisions made in private life, instead of being guided by the impersonal factors that are appropriate to political life; and (4) that it is therefore a reasonable proposition that women should not have the vote.
And the evidence for this? What do I mean, evidence? It just is, because it just is. And if a man votes for a politician who supports his favourite baseball team? Ah, well, he's not behaving like a normal man. Perhaps he's gay or something.
If and when Auster gets round to providing evidence for his assertion - statistical proof that women bring private and personal considerations into public life significantly more than men do - then the implications may go far beyond the franchise. Women shouldn't be lawyers, doctors, accountants or scientists, or follow any other profession that requires objectivity. A female scientist is a contradiction in terms - she would favour a fellow scientist's theory because he had crinkly smile and a shock of tousled hair.
Now a man would never get distracted on the job. I asked Bill Clinton to confirm this about ten years ago, but he thought it impolite to talk with his mouth full.
Posted on 11/26/2007 7:56 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 26 November 2007
An English teacher arrested in the Sudan for allowing her class to name a teddy bear Mohammed.
A favourite children's story is the Three Little Pigs.
These are they, Mo, Ham and Ed. Short for Maurice, Walsingham and Edmund, King and Saint of East Anglia.
I bet there is someone out there thinks I need a good thrashing for that.
Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough.
Posted on 11/26/2007 7:53 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax